United Nations, Sept 22 – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Thursday said the United States, the West and “Zionists” were responsible for all of the world’s ills and suggested that the killing of Osama bin Laden was part of a cover-up to prevent the truth about the 9/11 attacks from emerging.
At his annual address to the United Nations General Assembly, Ahmadinejad built on his 2010 speech in which he alleged that the United States had orchestrated the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, which killed almost 3,000 people, to create a pretext for the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.
“Instead of assigning a fact-finding team (to investigate the 9/11 attacks), they killed the main perpetrator and threw his body into the sea,” Ahmadinejad said, referring to the raid in May that killed bin Laden in his hideout in Pakistan.
Ahmadinejad said the United States should have brought him to trial so that the truth about 9/11 could emerge. He alleged those who had encouraged setting up an independent inquiry had been subjected to U.S. threats.
“Is there any classified information that must be kept secret?” he said.
Many delegations including those of the United States, Britain, France, Germany and several other nations, walked out of the chamber as the President of the Islamic Republic spoke. The Canadian delegation left their seats empty throughout the speech. "We are refusing to give Ahmadinejad an audience. He does not deserve one," said a senior Canadian official.
Iran funds, arms and trains the terrorist groups Hezbollah and Hamas. The latter, which controls Gaza, has fired hundreds of rockets into Israeli towns since the beginning of 2011.
Outside the building hundreds of people protested against Iranian human rights abuses. Ahmadinejad himself made no mention of the suppression of Iran's Green movement, or its own record of abuses.
Ahmadinejad, who has often denied the Holocaust and believes Israel should be destroyed, has a long record of outrageous statements to the United Nations. In 2008, playing off classic anti-Semitic themes, he accused Israel of manipulating the US presidential race, suggesting that “a small but deceitful minority of Zionists are playing with the American public.”
Iran is defying four rounds of U.N. sanctions by pursuing an illegal nuclear weapons program. Ahmadinejad maintains that his country’s nuclear pursuits are for peaceful purposes but reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency differ.
A report earlier this month stated the agency is “increasingly concerned” about “extensive and comprehensive” information that Iran is clandestinely continuing nuclear weapons pursuits.
In his speech, Ahmadinejad blamed the United States and the West for the world economic crisis, poverty and inequality. Historically, he said the West was responsible for slavery, colonialism, World War I, World War II as well as the wars in Korea and Vietnam. He accused the United States of using atomic weapons against “defenseless people.”